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GREEN BAY - It's football season, so scam artists are hard at work on their home-office printers making fraudulent tickets.

The Green Bay Police Department is investigating several reports of counterfeit tickets sold for the University of Wisconsin, Detroit Lions and New York Giants games at Lambeau Field. Fans were not allowed to enter the stadium because their tickets were counterfeit. Several reported having bought them through the craigslist website.

Police and ticket brokers say there are a number of ways to reduce the chance of ending up with tickets that have no value beyond use as bookmarks.

Dennis Garrity, president of Event USA in Ashwaubenon, said fans should buy tickets using a credit card and should deal with a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) when buying on the secondary market. Garrity is a founder and board member of NATB, which sets standards for the industry, and Event USA is the official game package company of the Packers.

Anyone buying tickets by credit card can at least dispute the charge, Garrity said.

"Don't pay cash for tickets. Don't buy tickets with money orders," he said. "Anybody who is a member (of NATB) has pledged to abide by a certain code."

Sometimes even legit sellers can fail buyers. Reseller ScoreBig recently abruptly ceased business, leaving many tickets holders adrift because it hadn't payed for the tickets itself.

The police department said free online marketplaces that ask buyers to pay for tickets in person are often sources for counterfeit tickets. Buyers should request identification from the sellers and should keep in mind, if the deal seems to good to be true ... you know the rest.

If buying tickets in person outside a stadium, buyers should have the seller accompany them to the gate to make sure the tickets will work before agreeing to buy them, said Chris Leyden of ticket seller SeatGeek.

His company and many of their competitors offer money-back guarantees.

"Many times we will also do what we can to still get the person in the game," he said.

Adam Clemence of Vivid Seats recommended fans avoid buying from any source where there are no safeguards against fraud, such as outside the stadium or on free listing sites.

NFL Ticket Exchange is the only resale ticket marketplace authorized by the Packers and the NFL. It has the exclusive ability to electronically verify and reissue tickets.

Green Bay Police said fans who have questions on game days can locate a police officer in the parking lot or go to the Lambeau Field will-call window. Anyone with information regarding counterfeit tickets should contact Detective Phillip Scanlan at (920) 448-3200 or Crime Stoppers at (920) 432-7867.

Contact rryman@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at (920) 431-8342

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